Afghanistan veteran and former professional soldier, now turned Peshmerga.
Неясна национальность этого солдата, сражающегося в рядах Пешмерги, есть подозрения, что он норвежец.
Пишет, что он приехал добровольно, из своих убеждений, что ему никто не платит и всю экипировку и проживание он оплачивает из своего кармана.
My sleeping area, a bed that belonged to a Christian girl whose family fled their home during the Islamic State offensive in Kurdistan last summer. The village was later retaken by the Peshmerga.
In an abandoned village controlled by the Peshmerga, near Mosul. Christians have been living here for hundreds of years, but they all fled when the Islamic State overran the area last summer. The Islamic State still controls some of the nearby villages, one is as close as two kilometres away from here.
Zeroing the sight on the M16 I recently bought. The AK-47 may be a sturdy and reliable rifle, but I felt it lacked accuracy with the iron sight. I also bought a brand new Glock 17 to the ridiculous price of 3.100 US dollars. Prices of arms and ammunition have skyrocketed due to the war, and I'm considering starting a crowdfunding campaign to be able to stay here for a while.
The Islamic State is shelling us with mortars from a nearby village on an almost daily basis. Today, in the spirit of Newroz, wich is the celebration of the kurdish New Year, we decided to return the favor. Going back to the front with the guys later tonight to make sure the festivities continues.
At the front, watching one of the two Islamic State controlled villages that lays between us and Mosul. You can easily see their black flag on top of the water tower on a windy day. The coalition warplanes have intensified their bombing in and around Mosul this week, driving the Islamic State more on the defensive. The windows of the building I'm in at the moment, is shaking by the bombing as I'm writing this. I don't think there will be another major assault on our part of the frontline by the Islamic State the way things are now. I guess we won't see more of those guys until the Mosul offensive starts and it's our turn to go on the offensive, starting with this village. I will try to make a post about the upcomming Battle of Mosul, sharing some personal thoughts and speculations.
Part 1/2. Beeing shelled by 120mm mortars right now. The shells usually land outside our village where we live, or in front or behind the trenches at the frontline, so we're not that worried. But several shells have landed inside the village this time. I think our house took a very close hit, because windows broke, pieces of the ceiling where falling down and the blast was ear deafening. We have seeked shelter in the house next door right now, where they have covered the windows with sandbags. I'll go out and look for the craters later. We think one of the shells didn't explode, but I'm not sure I'll be able to find it if it landed in the tall grass. Probably shouldn't go looking for it anyway. Now that I got some time, I might as well share some personal thoughts and what the word on the street is about the the upcomming Battle of Mosul. The question about when and how is beeing asked frequently these days. The Fall of Mosul last summer is considered as the Islamic State's greatest achievement in the war so far. Iraq's second largest city with a population of 1,8 million fell into enemy hands in one day when less than 1,300 Islamic State fighters entered the city on their pickup trucks and had over 30,000 Iraqi Army troops flee Mosul without putting up a fight. Not only did the Iraqi Army fail to protect the city, but they also left behind a vast amount of military hardware donated by the US, including armored vehicles and heavy weaponry that was later used by the Islamic State, and is still beeing used, against the kurds. The Islamic State also took controll over all the financial institutions and may have gained access to as much as $430 millions, and Mosul have since been the Islamic State's stronghold in Iraq. This is also where they have committed some of their worst crimes, including the selling of hundreds, or perhaps thousands of non-Muslim women and children on the slave marked. A recapture of Mosul is by many believed to be the final blow to the Islamic State in Iraq, but the battle is also expected to be the bloodiest in Iraq since the american invasion 12 years ago.
Part 2/2. The Islamic State have had months to prepare for the offensive, digging trenches, placing out explosives and refusing the population to leave the city so the civilian casualties will be as high as possible. So when will the offensive take place? Many thought it would start this spring, but I'm not so sure. The battle is expected to take months and neither sides wants to fight during the Holy Month of Ramadan, when Muslims aren't allowed to eat or drink during daytime, and when the heat is at its worst. I think early fall is more likely. The operation will probably look a lot like the recent Tikrit offensive. It will be led by the Iraqi Army, backed up by Shia militias and iranian officers. The coalition will keep the pressure on the Islamic State by bombing from the air. It is not yet clear what role the Peshmerga will have, but we will most likely not go into the city itself, but take the villages around Mosul and preventing Islamic State fighters from leaving or entering the city. Many kurds are against sending the Peshmerga to support the Iraqi Army in Mosul, saying kurdish blood shouldn't be spilled for an arab city. I disagree. Mosul have historically been a partially kurdish city and in fact, several of the guys in my unit are from Mosul, but had to fled either recently or during Saddam Hussein's arabization of the kurdish areas. Another reason the Peshmerga should take a bigger part in the offensive, is the fact that the Iraqi Army and government proved for the whole world they're not willing to fight for this city. It's just recently, with the help of iranian manpower, weapons and money, they have shown some interest in recapturing Mosul. They should not get the credit for taking back the city when the Peshmerga and the coalition warplanes are the reason the Islamic State have been mostly contaminated in and around Mosul. And not only should the Peshmerga entrer the city, but they should also have a presence in Mosul after the battle, to protect the population, both kurds and arabs, from further attacks... because the Iraqi Army shure isn't able to give that protection. Haven't heard any explosions for a while now, so we're heading out.